Health and Wellness

Flip Band bracelet gives motivation to complete goals with a check

Right about now, most people’s New Year’s resolutions are falling by the wayside. All of those commitments to work out and get in shape have faded as January comes to its close.

So Flip Band was created to help people to stay on track with their personal improvement goals. The concept is rooted in behavioral psychology and works as follows: the user picks a goal that they want to do every day. Then they wear a Flip Band that says, “Go ahead punk! I dare you to make my day and flip me!” Well, okay, it really just says, “Flip me.” Once the goal is completed, the user gets to flip the band over to the green checkmark side, which is supposed to give them an instant sense of gratification. Flip Band recommends an accountability buddy for the best results.

For those who are able to be motivated by the color green and a checkmark, this just might work. A “thumbs-up” icon might have been more of a motivator, though. This product seeks to raise $7,500. For $19, backers get a set of two bands with an expected delivery of March 2015.

Fitness Video Games

TreadGaming works you out without cheat codes

Video gaming is a fantastic way to spend a day off, but pretty a pretty terrible thing for the body. As much fun as it may be, a sedentary lifestyle is nothing but bad news. Although virtual reality is eventually promising a future where people will be able to move around with their favorite virtual worlds, that future is a considerably long way off.

Enter TreadGaming, a tiny, USB-enabled device that attaches a treadmill or an ergometer bike and transforms it into a giant video game controller powered by nothing but physical activity. The Mountain Dew and Doritos won’t be at arm’s length anymore but, in exchange, users will be able to sneak, walk, and run throughout whatever world they popped into the DVD tray.

What’s more, any action can be mapped to the exercise device or the two Wii Nunchuks that are able to plugged into the TreadGaming devices along with free I/O pins offer a ton of versatility when it comes to interacting with the game itself and expanding the device’s capabilities. Early birds can grab the device for kr380 (~$47) before it goes up to kr456 (~$57). The kr22,500 (~$2,800) campaign is looking to get people off their couches by March 2015.

The TreadGaming device is fairly limited at the moment in its execution, working out only with the PS3. Further revision and a deal with another company will be required to bring the rest of the current generation consoles up to speed. In addition, other types of exercise tools won’t work, like ellipticals and rowing machines. A similar device that combines exercise and gaming is the STABALLIZER, but works only with smartphones and tablets. Omni-directional treadmills that work with VR headsets have been teased, but are a ways off. Until then, something like TreadGaming can fill that niche.

Health and Wellness Wearables

ECHO H2 smart patch accurately monitors body with Bluetooth

It’s now a well-known fact that the wrist isn’t the best place for fitness tracking. Between most devices unable to know the difference between walking and typing and the inaccurate relationship between steps taken and calories burned most rely on, this isn’t entirely surprising.

Instead of relying on the limited information supplied by the wrist, Kenzen’s ECHO H2 uses a person’s own sweat to more accurately glean all sorts of information from the body, from heart rate to calorie intake and burn. Since the measurements are based on biochemical processes, the results are way more accurate; it’s like having a lab nearby at all times.

The ECHO H2 is notable because it takes the form of a wireless smart patch that uses medical grade adhesive to comfortably stick to a person’s calf or abdomen for up to a week straight. Over this time, it continuously monitors aspects of the body’s functions, alerting users with buzzes and sounds when they should ease up to avoid overtraining.

Although it uses Bluetooth LE to connect with a smartphone, it fortunately isn’t necessary to bring one along, a death knell to a lot of other fitness trackers. The ECHO H2 itself stores data that later can be synced with the robust mobile app, which offers capabilities like custom notifications, reporting, and team tracking. For $89, backers will receive 20 reusable and disposable patches along with a fully unlocked mobile app, expected to ship on July 2015. The campaign is looking for $75,000.

The ECHO H2 is extremely similar to the LEO in that they both keep an eye on user’s activity through sweat, but the LEO is a lot bigger than the tiny ECHO H2. With the LEO being reusable, though, it bodes much better for the environment when compared to the ECHO H2’s disposable nature. Both are technologically impressive, and gym rats and fitness freaks will be interested.

Cycling Fitness

Rollerblade inventor returns with Rowbike, marrying cycling with rowing

Physiologists agree that the top three exercises a person can engage in are swimming, skiing, and rowing. Unfortunately, all three of those exercises need some sort of special environment or a machine capable of replicating its benefits. In the case of rowing, the machinery to workout with exists. Unfortunately, it’s a stationary exercise and therefore not nearly as fulfilling as being out on the water itself. The inventor of the rollerblade, Scott Olson, had this exact same thought while working out one day and it led him to create the Rowbike.

The Rowbike is a combination rowing machine and bicycle. The product is designed with total body fitness in mind, engaging all parts of your body to get you zipping along. The rowing motions employed to move along have zero impact on the knees as well, so the Rowbike is a great choice for people who may have previously injured them or who may just be a little older. Provided the campaign reaches its $55,000 goal, the $1,750 Rowbike is slated for an April 2015 delivery.

The idea of providing total body fitness with a bicycle can also be seen with the Dual Drive Total Fitness Bike. Instead of full body rowing motions, though, the Dual Drive combines hand pedals with standard foot pedals. By doing so, it still allows a user the option to use either while the Rowbike doesn’t. The Rowbike seems unsteady at slow speeds and ungainly even at high speeds, so being stuck rowing everywhere severely limits its use and makes it somewhat dangerous unless used on long straightaways that don’t require much handling.


BIAbox exercise device flips around as it works you out all over

Time and time again, people like a full body workout that can be had with the help of one device. Moving back and forth between machines takes up too much time and requires a costly gym membership.

BIAbox is looking to provide an all over workout. With two two-sided faces and two railings, the box stands on its own and is about the size of a walker. By turning it around, BIAbox has four sides. Each side tells the user how they can workout and which exercises that particular orientation supports. For instance, when it’s turned into a platform, step ups, push ups and squats are all made possible. BIAbox offers 40 different exercises to its users.

While not the most sleek or portable all-in-one fitness device out there, BIAbox does have an edge over similar products. It actually lists the exercises you can do using it. Others come with inconvenient manuals or nothing at all. Fitness buffs have useful instructions on how to maximize their workout right in front of them. For their very own, backers must donate £209 (~$330) for ambitious delivery in December 2014, if BIAbox reaches its £12,000 (~$18,700) goal on Kickstarter.

Connected Objects Fitness

Loop is a pelvic exerciser that connects to your smartphone

Many women experience feeling flat out ugly when they are pregnant. It’s a relief in more than one way when that little one finally makes his or her way into the world. But what to do to get the body back in shape after all the stress that comes with pregnancy?

Not only are pelvic floor exercises beneficial before pregnancy, but also after the baby is born. But just like any other exercise, it can be hard to get moving. That’s where Loop comes in. Loop works using Bluetooth technology and an accompanying app. Using this app, exercise routines can be pre-programmed. In addition, you’ll receive visual feedback to ensure that you’re performing the exercise correctly as well as gaining the maximum benefit. Users can choose from personal training programs to more interactive routines that allow for competing with one’s own best score. The device reads muscle movements through pressure sensors, and translates those movements into helpful graphics and weekly progress reports. Loop is powered by a battery that lasts for up to a year, and the app indicates when it needs to be replaced. But alas, this product was really created for women only, functioning with her unique anatomy. Sorry guys.

This product will likely have the most appeal to exercise enthusiasts, and perhaps those who travel a lot and have to do their workouts on the road. This campaign seeks to raise $50,000 by January 8, 2015. Early bird backers get one product for $99 with an expected delivery of June 2015.


O2 can breathe easy as another sensor-filled tag

Wearable technology has been able to provide those living in the 21 century with some of the most amazing benefits on an individualized level. O2 is another one of those interesting creations. The device is coin-sized and will function for up to 90 days with Bluetooth 4.0. It appears that there are multiple O2 devices with the capability to function in various ways:  the product allows its user to gather information about the weather and environment, operates with reaching exercise and fitness goals, reports information about sleep patterns, or tracks personal belongings.

Currently, it is only compatible with iPhone 4s & later, iPad 2nd Generation & later, and Android devices with 4.3 or above. O2 has such a wide range of uses that users will rejoice in its versatility. However, the campaign could use a good proofreading as the spelling mistakes are quite distracting. This campaign seeks to raise $100,000 by December 23, 2014. For $49, backers get three products and may choose from black, white, sky blue, pomegranate red, or lemon yellow. Expected delivery is currently set for February 2015.

Games Health and Wellness

FitBricks is the Jenga game that gets you moving

For those who don’t like to exercise but like the results that come with working out, here is a product that may make working out a little easier to tolerate. FitBricks was invented by a puzzle enthusiast and who probably likes to think. It offers the user the opportunity to exercise in between considering what their next move will be so that the blocks don’t all come tumbling down – which could still provide some opportunity for a workout because then they all have to be picked up and restacked. The user just wouldn’t get to choose which exercise they will be doing if that happens. If an exercise buddy can be persuaded to get a set of FitBricks, the fun will be doubled without having to workout alone. Just make sure those water breaks don’t go on for too long and prevent the workout from taking place at all. This campaign seeks to raise $19,000 CAD (~$16,700 USD). For $34 CAD (~$30 USD), early bird backers get one set of FitBricks with an expected delivery of February 2015.

Health and Wellness

Da Vinci bodyboard makes you Mona Leaner

Having the ability to workout at home or take workout gear on the road is nice, if one is self-disciplined enough to stick with a workout routine. Da Vinci Bodyboard is designed as an opposing tension system. The high intensity workout combines muscle groups, which is supposed to get more oxygen pumping through the body than with a typical workout. Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects is that it is touted as only taking 20 minutes to get enough of a workout for a noticeable difference. The materials to make this product come from organic natural plant fibers and resin, as opposed to oil. While this seems like a great workout idea, most people need the extra support of fellow exercise enthusiasts or even a fitness coach that they meet with regularly. But for those rare individuals who seem to have the self-discipline to push themselves, this seems like a great idea for getting in shape and staying that way. This campaign seeks to raise $30,000 by November 19, 2014. Early bird backers get one product for $225, which is about $110 off of anticipated retail. Expected delivery is January 2015.


Hamtoner pulls the strings when it comes to strengthening glutes, calves and the lower back

Getting used to the pounding heat of the sun and cold pouring rain is all a part of track and field. That’s why the best place for outdoor sports enthusiasts to train is outside. Hamtoner is another tool that sports lovers can use to help strengthen their lower body so they have what it takes to not just cross the finish line, but win the prize, too. Auger screws allow the unit to be anchored to the ground right next to the playing field so that strengthening buttocks, calves and lower back can be just as much a part of the training routine as other important aspects of building up the body for those winning moments. The unit is lightweight enough to be taken on the road for keeping up with workouts during travel, but it seems that the Auger screws may create a challenge for getting Hamtoner unanchored and packed into one’s vehicle. This campaign seeks to raise $4,750 by November 16, 2014. For $375, backers get one product with an expected delivery of December 2014.